January 13, 2016
Yesterday for a brief moment it seemed as if Apple was releasing the first steps toward playground interactivity. Erica Sadun captured it in a blog post in which she included screenshots of two versions of the Xcode release notes. The first version announced "Live-views in iOS and OS X playgrounds support user interaction." The second version had that sentence removed.
Many of us assume that this means that user interaction is close.
This should let us teach students to write playgrounds that respond to button taps and more.
There are so many features we assume are coming to playgrounds. I look forward to the day when they run on iOS devices.
There is a magical moment when you run your first app on an actual device. It doesn't matter how simple or dumb the app is. When your app runs on an actual iPhone, it is so much more exciting than running it in a simulator.
In the past year Apple has made this free and easy for anyone old enough.
That's a huge step.
Once I have an app that I've written on an iPhone or iPod Touch or iPad, I can show it to all my friends. Some of them will want to write something too.
Playgrounds are a great learning environment, but kids and adults want to show off real apps running on real devices. They want to look on proudly as their friends play with something that they wrote.
We could imagine a playground feature that lets us experiment with code and then when we're ready we press a magic button and it's bundled into an app that only runs on our devices.
As of yesterday, FileMaker announced that you can turn projects there into full-fledged iOS apps. Why not playgrounds.
Not only do I want to be able to turn my playground into an (obviously restricted) app, I want to be able to easily share code from my playgrounds with other people. I want a share button in Xcode that allows me to select some code or a playground page or an entire playground and text it or email it or Air Drop it to a friend.
Let us share code, let us share excitement, and there's no stopping us.